It may be months before the building housing the RBC Royal Bank in Chase can be rebuilt following a fire early Sunday morning, Aug. 12 (Rick Koch photo)

Shuswap bank destroyed by fire

Blaze started early Aug. 12 in ATM entrance area of RBC Royal Bank in Chase, police investigating

Police are investigating a fire that destroyed a bank in the Shuswap early Sunday.

Fire Chief Brian Lauzon, chief of the Chase Fire Department, reports that firefighters were called at 4:10 a.m. Aug. 12, and found the ATM vestibule at the front of the RBC Royal Bank in Chase fully engulfed in flames.

“Flames were shooting out of the window by the ATM machine,” he says, explaining that firefighters attacked it aggressively and managed to knock down the blaze before it devoured the floor above.

“It almost went into the second floor. It started burning the carpet in the lawyer’s office upstairs, and we knocked it down before it got worse.”

Lauzon says the area of origin was the front entranceway at 746 Shuswap Ave. where the automatic teller machine is, but he did not speculate on the cause.

“It’s still under investigation, the RCMP will look into the matter, look at the security cameras and help determine the cause.”

Police and ambulance crews also responded to the blaze.

Related: 2011 – Chase history damaged by blaze

Lauzon estimates it will be “months” before the building will be operational.

“There are a lot of structural components that need to be reinforced. Basically the whole bank will have to be rebuilt with all the smoke and water damage.”

No one was injured in the blaze.

Related: 2012 – Chase Museum recovering from fire

In true small-town fashion, the firefighters received lots of support from the community.

Lauzon reports that a nearby restaurant brought them coffee, while the Chase Curling Club, holding a pancake breakfast, provided them with pancakes.

“It was awesome,” he says.

He commends the 12 firefighters who responded and “did a good job.”

The scene has been cordoned off and is now under the watch of security personnel.

Chase, situated between Salmon Arm and Kamloops off the Trans-Canada Highway, boasts a population of about 2,200 people. Lauzon says it’s been several years since there was a fire downtown.


@SalmonArm
marthawickett@saobserver.net

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It may be months before the building housing the RBC Royal Bank in Chase can be rebuilt following a fire early Sunday morning, Aug. 12 (Rick Koch photo)

A police officer speaks to passersby following an early morning fire Sunday, Aug. 12 that destroyed the RBC Royal Bank in Chase. (Rick Koch photo)

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